a great week, though maybe better weather for ducks than us. I am
grateful for the rain as our fields and landscaping need the nourishment.
Hopefully, the rain is also providing much needed respite for the firefighters and
residents so hard hit by the recent fires in eastern Washington.
a nation, we are obsessed with data and indicators when it comes to the
economy. We track the gross domestic product, the Consumer Price Index,
unemployment, inventories, housing starts, interest rates and so on. We monitor
these numbers because they are critical to understanding where our economy is
heading, and because we want to be able to respond forcefully if the numbers
signal developing problems. We should be equally, if not more, concerned
about the data that tell us how our children are doing: The well-being of our
country’s children is the most important indicator of our long-term economic
and social future.” Since 1990, KIDS COUNT has ranked states annually on
overall child well-being using an index of key indicators. The attached report
summarizes the current data and I think it is critical to review, understand
and address as we move forward as a district, state and nation.
“Improving outcomes for all children is essential for our nation to remain
strong, stable and globally competitive.”
week, there was more news on the current ESEA
situation as it affects us in our state. While our state requested a waiver
on sending the ‘letters’ to families regarding the ESEA metrics, we have been
turned down. State Schools Superintendent Randy Dorn requested that the
Department of Education extend reasoned flexibility; but, as the first and so
far only state to lose its waiver status, there will be no exception granted on
the sending of the letters regarding NCLB
requirements. I believe that we have excellent schools here in the South
Kitsap School District, and hardworking staff every day doing whatever it takes
to improve the teaching and learning experience for each child – no
exceptions. Like many across this country, I believe there are enough
difficult strategic initiatives we are shouldering (many of which have been
prescribed by those outside education) that we do not need any further negative
energy to mitigate. In our house, we will continue to nurture growth,
inspire achievement and build community.
am so excited that five of our principals
spent four days this week at a statewide STEM Leadership Conference to support
this important initiative in our schools. These principals will share
their learning with the rest of the administrative team at our Summer
Administrative Institute (SAI)
slated for the first week of August.
we review the resourcefulness of our staff and departments, I continue to be so
impressed with our can do attitude and work ethic in this district. As
Ariane Shanley, our Food and Nutrition Services Director, was working on
getting some equipment replaced, notably the dishwasher at Olalla Elementary,
she ran across the invoice
for the machine that is currently in the building. It was purchased used in
1967. This symbolizes the care and dedicated attention we take in our
work. Our stewardship of the public trust and financial resources is
something we take a great deal of pride in here in the South Kitsap School
District. Further, I think we got our money’s worth on this model.
Facilities Department continued its busy summer schedule this week. The
Sidney Glen roof
project is proceeding well and is on schedule for completion. This
has been a complicated project and covers a large amount of square
footage. This project has required a significant amount of coordination
from the facilities department and flexibility from Sidney Glen staff as
well. The major part of the well
project at Olalla Elementary has been completed. This will
significantly improve accessibility to water for the school and is much
appreciated. There are so many people that all play such an important
role in the success of our district mission. Thank you.
toured the summer school program classes this morning and found a significant
number of young people actively learning a variety of topics. Thanks
again to the hardworking staff who have made this possible and the parents
supporting their students in getting to classes every day during the short
summer session. Further, our summer food program is going very well, having
served 7672 meals to date this summer.
continue to enjoy this summer and find time to be with family and
so, another great summer week. Things have continued to be busy in the
maintenance and facilities realm with many large projects being worked on
across the district. We are so blessed to have so many hard working
maintenance and custodial staff who are working so hard to maintain and prepare
our facilities for mountain top student learning experiences in the coming
years. Thank you also to the dedicated staff who are supporting several
hundred students in summer school located at South Kitsap High School this
summer. The new skill center career and technical education (CTE) courses
this summer have been both exciting and well attended, and are proving to be a
great resource for our school district students who have not previously had
this opportunity. Kudos to all the CTE staff that have made this
opportunity for our kids possible.
the Board meeting this week, we had an opportunity to review the current
budget and have our first look at the preliminary
budget for the upcoming 2014-15 school year. As the result of all of your
hard work and disciplined budget management, we are in a much more stable
financial position today than we were a year ago. I think we have all
learned a great deal about the budget and its components in the past
year. As we continue to build the general fund balance, we will be
mindful of the accuracy of our enrollment projections and trust that as the
months move forward, our projected enrollment and new student enrollment will
be monitored closely. I invite you to attend our public budget hearing on
Tuesday, August 5, just prior to the regularly scheduled Board meeting.
We plan to formally adopt the 2014-15 district budget on August 19, at the
regularly scheduled Board meeting for that night. We welcome your
feedback and input on this topic as it affects all of us.
are posting the elementary specialist positions today to support the added
sections of all-day kindergarten. Two full time equivalent (FTE) teachers
will be hired for this work (one physical education teacher and one music teacher).
Principals and district administrators will be meeting in the very near future
to lay out the specifics of the scheduling for these new positions as we keep
the commitment made to not cut further into support teacher positions for this
purpose. Currently, the number of kindergartners enrolled is larger than
in previous years so we are working to be proactive in responding to classroom
support as we want to ensure a smooth start of the coming school year.
a continuing effort to examine the costs we are incurring for district wide
support, so that we are in a position to best direct our financial resources to
the classroom and the educational experience for our children, we are reviewing
all our contracts and service agreements. Where we can, we are moving to
options that are less expensive and still provide excellent service. This
is how families operate as finances are strained. We have to save where
we can so that we can do the things we would like to do and that align with the
mission and vision of our great district. To this end, we will be moving
to a different insurance carrier for the district; and in the process we will
be saving at least $125,000.00 that can be used for other projects.
We will likely also be able to realize other legal expense savings.
The Board presentation
made by the insurance pool we will be joining is illustrative of the quality of
coverage we will be receiving, even as we are able to save a significant amount
of money for the district.
Immersion class is filling rapidly with very few seats left so anyone out
there still thinking of becoming part of this unique learning community should
likely complete an application
as soon as possible for consideration in the fall class. This program has
so many advantages for the language acquisition, especially for the very
young. I am so thrilled that the staff at Burley Glenwood are taking on
Board reviewed the policy
revisions to the Highly Capable Program as the new state legislation
requires changes in our current policy. This summer a significant number
of our library staff and other district staff, are attending the Edufest
Conference in Boise, Idaho as we learn more about site based highly capable
programming. Edufest is the Northwest’s premier summer conference on
gifted and talented education. Keynotes, Institutes, Strands, and Special Topic
presentations are by internationally and nationally recognized experts in
the field of gifted and talented education. Topics focus on the
21st Century Learning, Common Core, Differentiation, STEM and
Creativity. Edufest is a week-long summer conference held on
the campus of Boise State University, Boise Idaho. This will be the
18th year for Edufest. Edufest is a non-profit
I wish each of you a continued time of reflection and renewal as these summer
weeks bring new opportunities to learn and grow.
What a great week!! The weather on Tuesday was incredible. As we look forward to the Fourth of July, I trust all of you will have an opportunity to celebrate our Independence Day.
There is certainly a great deal of work going on around the district. Our Facilities and Maintenance Department is focused on $1.3 million dollars in capital projects. We have placed thank you signs at all the school sites where this work is going on to thank the voters for their support of our school district. The levy dollars voted on by the community are what is providing the capital we need to support these projects. These large projects are the Olalla well, the Olalla roof, the Sidney Glen roof restoration, the Sunnyslope play shed roof, the South Kitsap High School roof restoration, and the Performing Arts Center fire curtain replacement. We are committed to doing what we said we would do with regard to these levy dollars as we demonstrate that ‘promises made are promises kept.’ Thank you facilities staff for your hard work.
Our South Kitsap High School Highlighters / Chamber Choir are currently in Europe performing for audiences there and learning about the culture and people of Europe. This trip was made possible by the hard work of the participating students and parents in raising the money for expenses. They are so talented and the reaction to them has been really heartwarming. I have heard from several chaperones and their advisor Mr.Mike Allen. The group is truly exceptional and the learning experience is surely one that will last a life time. Experiential learning is so powerful. We are so proud of these young people.
Recently, the Career and Technical Education (CTE) General Advisory Committee (GAC) met with the School Board to address ways in which the district CTE programs could be improved. They provided a letter and report that the Board reviewed with them at a Study Session. Following the Board presentation, I was then asked to research the issues and formulate a response that would enable us to collaboratively move forward. In the interim, I met with various departments and compiled a response and plan to address the concerns. We are looking forward to the work in the coming year as we improve the CTE experiences for all children – no exceptions.
Summer school is extremely busy this year with three times the usual summer school enrollment. Currently, roughly two hundred and fifty students are taking three hundred and sixty classes on-line. This on-line school option is very popular with students for a myriad of reasons. Beginning the 14th of July, one hundred and sixty-nine students will be attending classes in person at the high school with another thirty students working on the graduation requirement courses of biology and geometry. Also, there are over fifty students taking the West Sound Skill Center courses offered at South Kitsap High School during the summer for the first time. Thank you to all of those folks working so hard on summer coursework. It matters.
Finally, I wish each of you a joyful and celebratory holiday week-end. It is an important holiday in the life of our country and marks a spirit that still beats strong in our community.
I trust this note finds all of you enjoying a great summer week. The weather has been mixed and the energy a bit more subdued than usual.
This has been a busy week of professional development for staff in various departments. All of the district custodial and maintenance staff attended a professional development training on Tuesday. We are so blessed to have such a capable crew supporting our teaching and learning by making our facilities and grounds attractive and safe. I know the community is also grateful for this work as the community makes such prolific use of our facilities for a myriad of activities.
This week we had our Parent Informational evening for the new Spanish Immersion Program to be housed at Burley Glenwood Elementary School. There was a great deal of excitement as our new teacher for the program was introduced and had an opportunity to describe the incredible odyssey for the young ones who will be enrolled in this inaugural language program for our district. We are joining twenty eight other districts across the state in providing this program. Applicationsare available on-line and at the district office. There is a limited enrollment and the first cut for enrollment decisions will be made on July 11. Applications received after July 11 will be reviewed on a space available only basis. It was so inspiring to see families and staff so excited about this instructional program implementation. The following link from the Spanish Immersion Program by Minnetonka Public Schools http://vimeo.com/14073214 provides an informative look into what an immersion program entails and how one district in the country has captured the experience.
Isaac Santos, a South Kitsap High School student athlete, applied and is extremely excited to be selected as member of the WIAA LEAP Committee for the next two years. The committee is comprised of sixteen student participants from around the state. He will begin working with the statewide committee in September. LEAP (Leadership through Education, Activities, and Personal Development), is a student leadership group organized by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association. The LEAP Committee is made up of student leaders from WIAA member schools throughout the state. Student representatives are involved with WIAA events, meetings and community projects, and have the unique opportunity to be the voice of Washington’s nearly 230,000 student-participants. Each spring, the WIAA invites students who will be entering their JUNIOR year the following fall to apply. Approximately six students will be selected to join the Committee and participate throughout their junior and senior years. We are so proud of Isaac and are excited to have our South Kitsap voice added to this important statewide work.
We have so many supports in place for our students in the district. During this past year, nearly 2600 community volunteers have contributed more than 88,000 hours of volunteer work. Our Food and Nutrition Services staff have served a total of 974,074 meals to students in the past year. Our bus drivers have safely driven students over 1.2 million miles in the past year. Our teachers and support staff have put in countless hours to support students during the past year and will continue to do so for many years in the future. Thank you. No wonder it feels like a bit of a time for a break for all… ;>)
At our last principal meeting of the year this morning, I reflected on the incredible work that has been accomplished this year by each of you and how important planningis to the work that lies ahead for us as a district family. This summer is a great time for reflection and planning. We will begin this coming school year in a well-planned and thoughtful manner. Our office coordinators and principals are focused on class counts and enrollment updates while the budget systems are being carefully monitored. This is a team effort and will support students and staff as September approaches for a smooth school opening.
Finally, I hope all of you have had the opportunity to watch just a bit of the World Cup. What an exciting global event and how proud it is to be going on to the next round for the United States team. While we cannot all be present in Brazil for the on the field action, every time they play our national anthem to begin a game, I feel like we are there in spirit and feel such a sense of pride (several of the US team members are from the Seattle Sounders franchise). Maybe a future SK Wolf will play in the World Cup in the future.
I trust that each of you are enjoying a well-earned summer vacation. As you might guess, things are still hopping a bit in the district and community.
Lisa Lechuga, one of our librarians from the Kitsap Regional Library just sent photos of yesterday's summer reading event at the waterfront park. SKSD provides lunch after each event and fed 260 kids yesterday! The pics are of families in line for lunch and attending the reading activity. Thanks so much for this partnership and a shout out to Ariane Shanley for making lunch happen for kids at these events. What a great example of nurturing growth, inspiring achievement and building community.
It is my pleasure to announce my recommendation for Principal at East Port Orchard Elementary, Mr. Paul Hulbert. Paul is currently the Assistant Principal at Union Ridge Elementary School in the Ridgefield School District. Prior to that, Paul worked as an Assistant Principal in the Clover Park School District. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education from Western Washington University and his Masters of Education degree in Education Administration from University of Puget Sound.
I want to thank all of those involved in the interview process and know that you will join me in welcoming Paul to the South Kitsap School District. Paul is excited to be joining the team at EPO and will begin his position on July 1. While we look forward to the excitement of welcoming new members to our leadership team, we also want to take a moment to thank Mrs. Kristi Smith for her many years of dedicated and exemplary service. Thank you.
Last night, the Board met and among other topics, heard the report from the Community Budget Advisory Team (CBAT). The CBAT report to the Board of Directors was delivered by committee members and was very succinct. Their belief statement, “The South Kitsap School District is committed to providing an outstanding education for its children. Providing a sound and stable educational environment requires financial stability and accountability to our community”, is reflective of the beliefs underlying the work undertaken by this intrepid group over the past six months. As you review this report, it is important to note that these are recommendations to the Board and will be further discussed at the next Board meeting. We are so grateful for the work of this group in providing reflective commentary, guidance and supporting the financial stability of our district. More to come on this topic.
I am pleased to announce the startup for the district Spanish Immersion Program at Burley Glenwood Elementary School. We are having an informational evening for parents on Wednesday, June 25 at 6:30 p.m. Applications are being accepted at this time. “Wherever we are, whatever our line of work, we are affected by nearly everything else that’s happening in the world….Society should be prepared to communicate and do business across international boundaries….Community, business and civic leaders increasingly will build relationships with counterparts in other nations.” Gary Marx SixteenTrends. The Spanish Immersion program will begin in the fall with a first grade class; a second grade class will be added in the 2015-16 school year and an additional class will be added each year up through the sixth grade. The students will be expected to participate in the program each year. SKSD is committed to looking at ways to provide innovative programs that challenge students and give them the tools they need to be successful. If parents and students commit to the Spanish Immersion program all six years, the students will be bi-lingual and bi-literate and gain an appreciation and understanding of another culture. Research shows that the best time to learn a new language is prior to age twelve. Research also shows that math, music and language skills enhance academic skills.
Central to the South Kitsap Spanish Immersion Program is the knowledge that we are preparing our students for a vastly different future and world than in the past and even the present. Creative, inquisitive and innovative thinking integrated with collaborative, communicative, compassionate and global minded attributes are the components of successful citizenship in the 21st Century.
Enjoy the rest of the first week of summer break. Only ten weeks until we are back to start the new 2014-15 school year…
Well, it is finally here; end of school eve…. It has been an incredible year on many fronts. I am so impressed with the dedication, resolve and energy each of you have brought to this year and the inspiration each of you have provided for so many children. Our community is so grateful for all your hard work.
There are several important topics I want to review as we close out this year.
As we prepare for the 2014-15 school year, (only eleven weeks away ;>), I want to provide the first draft calendar of professional development slated for August. While it may not include every event and every detail of the events that are listed, it is the current look and I want you to have as much lead time as possible and be as well prepared as possible for the upcoming work. It would be a good idea if they kept a close eye on the district web-site calendar, TandemCal, for up to date dates and times. To this end, I want to provide the current LID plan and schedule for all certificated staff. I can’t wait to continue this journey with each of you as we continue to build on our solid instructional traditions.
All of the graduations this past week have been so beautiful, moving, and memorable. Many of you played pivotal roles in the execution of these ceremonies and I have heard so many community members speak so proudly of your efforts. All of you in the district have played a material role in the success of these graduates. It is truly a Pre-K-12 effort. Amy Miller has captured many great photos which can be viewed at the photo gallery.
I want to announce that the School Board meeting schedule will be adjusted for the coming year beginning in July. All Board of Director meetings will be held on Tuesday evening rather than Wednesday evenings. This is to accommodate our schedules more efficiently.
A significant shift in focus for our certificated staff evaluation process is being undertaken. After a great deal of consideration, the South Kitsap Education Association (SKEA), South Kitsap Association of Principals (SKAP),and district administration have made a commitment to move to transition to the CEL+5 Instructional Framework. It is our shared belief that the CEL+5 Framework will better enable us as a district to move forward with focused instructional practices and professional development.
On a fiscal note, I want to say that we are better off financially due to the hardwork each of you have put into this year. The commitment, perseverance and resilience of our district family is paying off. An example of this is that enrollment data for the year. I want to remind you that we began the year 154 students under the budget with the probability that this number would increase leaving us a potential budget shortfall of over $800,000.00. This beginning took the breath away from many of us. Our pattern the last few years has been a fairly steady and accelerating student enrollment decline over the course of the school year. This year,our chart reveals that not only did we slow the enrollment decline, we gained significant ground as we closed out the year. Rather than losing the expected $800,000.00 from more than 150 students being below our budget, we finished the year only 58.57 students below the budget or a revenue loss of only about $300,000.00 over the course of the year from budget. I want to thank each of you -- who no matter what this year, made do with less, kept the focus on our students, and continued to provide such great customer service to all patrons – no exceptions. It matters. Thank you.
I will be continuing my Thursday Memo during the summer and will also be posting the Memo to my Blog. If you have a preferred e-mail address that you would like to receive the Thursday Memo at over the summer, please provide it to me and I will oblige. It is my intent to keep you up to date on any decisions and plans as they become clear over the summer. Conversely, please feel free to stop by and visit with me or send me any ideas or thoughts you might have over the summer as I will be here most of the summer and would love to visit with you.
Finally, I want to thank each of you for making my first year serving the South Kitsap School District such a memorable one. I have learned a great deal from you and consider it my real privilege to continue to serve you in the coming year. I want to thank all of you who are retiring for the many years of service you have provided on behalf of our students in this great district and encourage the rest of us to take a few minutes tomorrow to personally thank those around us who will not be with us in the coming year. Enjoy the summer break and find that balance that sustains and refreshes us.
What a great week. So many activities and so many wonderful culminating events. We have such talented students and staff. I have several items that I want to update you on as the year comes to a close…
Progress on the development and implementation of the All-Day Kindergarten program is moving forward nicely. We have created an All Day Kindergarten (ADK) Planning Team composed of four kindergarten teachers that were highly recommended by the principals to serve on this committee. They are Leann Georgeson (MR) representing tuition-based schools; Lonnell Kyle (MR) for her long-time experience, connections with the state and knowledge of WA KIDS, the program that districts will need to implement when they are funded by the state; Eunice Orser (EPO) representing Title I schools; Sharon Vetter (MAN) representing experience with ADK in SKSD. Also on the planning team are Anita Chandler (MR) representing Tuition schools, Charlotte Flynn (OL) representing experience with ADK in SKSD, Darek Grant representing Title I schools, Shannon Thompson, instruction and Rita Reandeau, special education.
The ADK Planning Team has been reviewing the initial draft of the "South Kitsap School District Project 2027 All Day Kindergarten Resource and Guide.” The purpose of the guide it to provide one-stop resource for everything about All Day Kindergarten or what we are calling Kindergarten 2.0 to emphasize that ADK is different than half-day. Bev Cheney is finalizing the resource and guide based on feedback she has received from the Planning Team as well as information gained from the visitation to Clear Creek Elementary by members of the Planning Team. Kindergarten 2.0 is not only rigorous and developmentally appropriate but also focused on developing the whole child's natural curiosity, inquisitiveness and creativity along with nurturing the whole child's intellectual, social, emotional and physical growth. Consequently, the resource and guide contains relevant information on best practices described in the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program, STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) objectives, Montessori pedagogy focused on developing inquisitive, creative and innovative thinkers and the work of Tony Wagner described in his book, Creating Innovators. The resource and guide also includes information and research on best kindergarten practices from the Sumner and Bellingham school districts as well as the work done by our own SKSD kindergarten teachers in the development of the current kindergarten reportcard, standards and assessments.
We will launch the concept of Kindergarten 2.0 and the resource and guide on the morning of Monday, June 16 at a workshop to which all kindergarten teachers (all-day and half-day) have been invited. If you have questions, feel free to contact Bev Cheney at Cheney@skitsap.wednet.edu.What a blessing Bev has been in the organizing and implementing of this crucial and foundational step for our district children. We will be stronger for her leadership and guidance. Thank you Bev.
I so appreciate the assistance many of you provided me with the safety letter draft. It clearly takes a village to help me write a letter ;>) We will be posting the revised letter on our web-site along with safety tips. Thank you so much for the team effort. This is such a timely topic and we all have a stake in the effectiveness of our communication.
We are in the process of finalizing our August professional development plan and calendar and I will have a calendar out to you next week in my Thursday Memo. The LID topic will also be identified and plans shared with you prior to the end of the current school year. This will assist us in being thoughtful about our prep for the coming year.
We also had occasion to honor Marcus Logue for receiving the Narrows League Baseball Coach of the Year award. What a great example for our young people Coach Logue has been over the last couple of years. Well done.
And so, let’s savor the remaining days of this 2013-2014 school year. We have walked through the fire and emerged stronger than we started. Each of you have made such a difference in the lives of so many children this year, and for that our community is so grateful. Well done.
What a great week. There have been so many wonderful celebrations at so many schools in the last days. We are so grateful for all the wonderful staff, students, parents, and community partners we have supporting this great district.
Last night at the Board meeting the Celebration of Partnerships was held and honored many community partners and organizations. This link is connected to a photo gallery of the evening events. The news release describes the names of honorees. We would not be the district we are without these tremendous efforts and partnerships.
Several of you have recently sent me notes concerned about the safety and security issues recently dealt with at the high school. The bomb threats over the previous several weeks had many on edge with regard to safety, security and our communication about same. I want to begin by stating that the high school staff, transportation staff, PSNS support staff and canine unit as well as our school resource officers were exemplary in their response. It is often said that effective managers do things the right way and effective leaders do the right things. In this case Jerry Holsten and his staff were both in that they both did the right things and they did them the right way. That being said, I believe I could improve our support from the district office as we are thoughtful about these circumstances that at times are plaguing our schools nationwide.
To that end, one area I am looking at is how best to communicate with our parents. I have prepared a draft safety letter that I would like your feedback with in regard to bullet points that might be important to address so that should incidents like this happen again (God forbid they do) parents will feel more connected to what is happening and understand better why we as a district must provide filtered information at times for the safety of the students and staff and the integrity of an ongoing police investigation. Another item I have been working on a draft safety tips letter that I also would want feedback on so that we could include this information on our web-site. I really appreciate you working with me on this topic of such importance. Thank you.
Again, thank you so much for all you each do every day to support our children in the district. There is such little time left this year…. It is hard to believe we are on the home stretch.
To begin with, let me apologize for the tardiness of the Thursday Memo. Our email system, as many of you noticed, was down for much of the afternoon and evening last night and therefore this memo could not be sent until now…;>) I am sure you have been eagerly awaiting this memo. There are many important topics for review.
About 3:10 pm yesterday our email server experienced an internal error that caused email services to crash. Kerry was able to begin the restoration process, but due to the volume of email we have on our system, it took three hours for the server to process its backup files, and another four hours to rebuild itself. No email was lost during this outage, although inbound email from other places may be trickling in throughout the morning. Special thanks to Kerry Melcher for getting the processes started quickly and seeing things through until after 11:00 last night. We are blessed to have him! Thank you Kerry!!
Last night, at the Board meeting, the district Physical Education Department staff presented information regarding the district physical education program and its critical role in the education of the whole child. This presentation was extremely informative and highlighted the importance of healthy and fit children. The connection between healthy and fit children and their academic achievement is so clear and we so appreciate the work of this department in supporting our student achievement goals. The district physical education staff also honored Don Hoem from Hi-Joy Bowl with a NIB award for his generous support of our elementary physical education program. Thank you.
It is my pleasure to announce my recommendation for Principal at Manchester Elementary, Ms. Theressa Prather. Theressa is currently the Assistant Principal at Chautauqua Elementary School in the Vashon Island School District. Prior to that, Theressa worked as a classroom teacher for 23 years and also completed an Administrative Internship at Artondale Elementary in the Peninsula School District. She has her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from University of Puget Sound and her Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. Theressa also earned her National Board Certification in 2007. I want to thank all of those involved in the interview process and know that you will join me in welcoming Theressa to the South Kitsap School District. Theressa is excited to be joining the team at Manchester and will begin her position on July 1. It was great to have the Manchester staff present at the Board meeting to welcome her to our South Kitsap family.
The Highly Capable Student Task Force continued its meetings Thursday evening. Gail Hanninen, an independent reviewer and highly capable program expert visited with the task force. Her presentation outlined the elements of an effective highly capable program review and what best practice for district programming might look like. She is conducting an independent review of our program here in the South Kitsap School District as we are wrestling with how best to meet the new legislative mandates for highly capable education. Approximately thirty parents and staff attended the meeting and are committed to the best possible experience for our highly capable children.
The International Student Exchange program honored South Kitsap High School for its amazing support of foreign exchange students. Dean Freda Evans accepted the award on behalf of the high school. We are so blessed to have a high school staff that cares so deeply for each of its students, no exceptions. Thank you.
I wish each of you the best Memorial Day Week-end ever. I would also ask each of you to pause during the BBQ and other fun activities we will be having in the rain this weekend … to think about and thank those who have served our country so valiantly and remember the many sacrifices made on our behalf. It is so true that we are free because of the brave. Thank you.
Well,the weather has been great and so has the energy around the district. It is hard to believe it is already May and that there are only four more weeks of school left …!!
I want to share with you several important topic updates. First, there are a couple of updates with regard to our curriculum for the coming year. These are important decisions that will affect children in the district for the coming year. As these and other staff committees work through these challenging topics, I know you will join me in extending our heartfelt gratitude for their work. I also have comments on the recent audit report.
The District Math Task Force is working hard and have come to a decision regarding their recommendation for the elementary schools for the coming year. “Through our work as the Math Task Force, and with the support of the in-district elementary staff survey results, we recommend adoption of the 2015 enVision Math Curriculum K-5. The Math Task Force recommends the pilot of the new 2015 enVision Math Curriculum for grade 6, and to consider other possible options as information becomes available from further work of the Math Task Force. The Task Force reached 100% consensus on the above recommendations.” –Shannon Thompson, Director of Teaching and Learning. I will be bringing this recommendation forward to the Board as part of the Instructional Materials Committee notes at the upcoming Board meeting. The Math Task Force is now transitioning to the work of reviewing secondary math curriculum options. We look forward to recommendations on these topics in the coming year.
The 9th AP Human Geography instructors have selected the book, The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography by James M. Rubenstein as their core instructional text. The book is listed as one of AP’s recommended texts for the course. The teachers who will be teaching this course spent a great deal of time reviewing texts, recommendations from the college Board, and working with Shannon Thompson in our Teaching and Learning Department. Thank you for this work.
The instructors for 9th AP Environmental Science are in the midst of text book selection. They are examining the texts listed on AP’s environmental science recommended list. A recommendation will be made to the instructional materials committee in June. The teachers teaching this course from each junior high spent the day together today, along with Shannon, including a visit to a classroom in the Peninsula School District where the course is being taught to develop their course syllabus and lab list. Thank you for taking this course on and doing the work necessary to build on our great programs. It matters.
Recently,the Masonic Lodge honored a certificated staff member from each of our schools. These teachers and speech and language pathologist were honored for their dedication to the children of this great district. It is a great example of nurturing growth, inspiring achievement and building community: Tim Sullivan- Sunnyslope; Cheryl Nardone- East Port Orchard;Kris Miller- South Colby; Renata Durst- Cedar Heights; Kathy Zimmer- Hidden Creek *Chosen as Masonic Teacher of the Year; Eileen Osera-South Kitsap High; Chad Nass- South Kitsap High; Laura Kornelis- Burley Glenwood; Susan Mosby- Discovery; Stacey Marten- John Sedgwick; Greg Guariz-Olalla; Elizabeth Sebren- Marcus Whitman; Leann Georgeson- Mullenix Ridge; Cheryl Marshall- Sidney Glen; Norm Smith- Orchard Heights; and Stephanie Terry-Manchester.
On another note, we had the exit conference with the state auditor regarding our district. As this information will be made public, I want to take a moment and share it with you now before it goes live on the State Auditor web-site by Wednesday. There are many moving parts in our SKSD system and as we work on the processes and practices in our district, we will only get stronger. The purpose of our exit conference is for the auditors to share the results of their independent audit and to provide a forum for open discussion. The draft accountability report summarizes the results of the risk-based audit work related to safeguarding of public resources and legal compliance. The audit covered the following areas: financial condition, transportation, staff mix, enrollment, State special education, shifting of resources, Associated Student Body revenues, payroll, and disbursements. Overall, the audit results are very positive. The management letters received communicate issues not significant enough at this time to include as a finding in the audit report; but, are referenced in the report. The two management letters were for 1)FinancialCondition, and 2) Enrollment. While we are never thrilled to receive a management letter, we are working hard to correct the issues identified. As you read the letter on the district’s financial condition (our first management letter to this district on this topic) I want you to know that this situation is improving and that each of you have played a significant role in the improvement of our financial health of the district. Many of the recommendations noted by the auditor are being implemented and the auditors were very complimentary of our staff across the different departments and schools. The strength of our district is the quality of the people we have who work so hard. While I know it has not been easy this year, and likely won’t be for another year or two, we are on the mend and back on the path of financial health and stability. Thank you.
Mullenix fifth grade students recently took a Foss Waterway STEM field trip which was a great learning experience. Among other things, the students used microscopes to look at the plankton that they collected. They also used cards to identify the different organisms they saw under the microscope. Our STEM work in the district is really moving forward at many schools in our great district. It is so exciting to see…
We are moving forward with elementary principal interviews for both Manchester and East Port Orchard Elementary Schools this week and next. Later, we will be engaged in the Assistant Superintendent for Business & Operations position interviews by the end of the month. Many thanks to those of you participating in this important work.
I want to reiterate what a thrill it is to work and serve each of you as this year continues. This is a proud district with strong traditions and we will continue building on these as the years roll forward. Enjoy the week-end and as always, if you have any questions on the documents or information I have presented, please do not hesitate to contact me.